Gonzaga Green Event Certification Plan

Gonzaga Green Event Certification Plan

Green Event certification recognizes campus events that implement sustainable practices. Event coordinators can use the checklist below to qualify their event for certification. Event coordinators can work towards certification by earning points from the checklist below in order to be considered “Green Certified.”Once certified, events may use and advertise their sustainable status. 

There are three levels of achievement based on if your event will provide food or drinks. If an event provides food, there will be 25 points possible to meet certification. If an event does not provide food or drink, there will be 18 points possible to meet certification. For events with food, a minimum of 15 points out of 25 points is needed for a Green Certification. For events without food, a minimum of 14 points out of 18 points is needed for a Green Certification.

At the bottom of this document, you will find a guide to the checklist. This is meant to provide additional help and ideas for event planners to achieve a Green Certification. 

For Events with food

Silver requires 15 points. 

Gold requires 20 points. 

Platinum requires 25 points. 

For events without food

Silver requires 14 points. 

Gold requires 16 points. 

Platinum requires 18 points.

Food and Dining: 7 total points available

  • Local food products (1 point)

  • Offer vegan and/or vegetarian options (1 point)

  • Based on RSVP’s, contact caterer to avoid purchasing excess food (2 points)

  • Donate extra food (1 point)

  • No single use plastic bottles (1 point)

  • Use of compostable or reusable plates, cups, bowls, and utensils (1 point)

Waste: 8 total points available

  • Zero waste event [No trash, compost, or recycling generated by event] (4 points)

  • Compost bin placed prominently in the space of the event (1 point)

  • Recycling bin placed prominently in the space of the event (1 point)

  • Have signs clearly indicating how waste should be sorted (2 points)

Transportation: 2 total points available

  • Have an option to virtually attend the event (1 point)

  • Encourage carpooling or walking with a friend (1 point)

Coordination and Planning: 8 total points available

  • Have guests RSVP for event (1 point)

  • Virtual advertising instead of printed flyers [QR codes, social media, etc.] (1 point)

  • If you are printing flyers, print them on one-side-clean paper or 100% recycled content paper (1 point)

  • Recycle or reuse unused handouts (1 point)

  • Omit dates on items if the event is recurring allowing for reuse of signs, etc. (1 point)

  • Reuse decorations (1 point)

  • Have only handouts or giveaways that can either be consumed, reused, or made of recycled material (1 point)

  • Have handouts or giveaways that could be used at other events (1 point)

There are three levels of achievement for events with food

Silver requires 15 points. 

Gold requires 20 points. 

Platinum requires 25 points. 

Points met ___/25

 

There are three levels of achievement for events without food

Silver requires 14 points. 

Gold requires 16 points. 

Platinum requires 18 points.

Points met ___/18

Guide to the Gonzaga Green Event Checklist

The goal of planning a green event is to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, reduce resource consumption and increase general knowledge of sustainability. Holding green events is important because these conscious changes not only help to combat climate change, but also support Gonzaga’s mission to care for the planet.

The goal of this guide is to provide more background and information on the Green Event Checklist. The Office of Sustainability is always a resource for you. The office is located at 521 E. Sharp Ave, Spokane, WA 99258. Our phone number is 509-313-5571.

As you work through the checklist, please check out the following links for additional sustainability event resources: 

Rethink Waste Gonzaga 

Recycling Services City of Spokane 

Composting Services City of Spokane 

Gonzaga Sustainability Features Map 

Seasonal Food Guide 

Flavours Catering 

Main Market Co Op 

Boots Bakery 
Roast House Coffee 

Huckleberry's Natural Market 

Spokane Transit Authority 

Live Local INW Directory 

Food and Dining: 7 total points available

  • Local food products (1 point)

  • The Seasonal Food Guide link is a great resource to see what produce is available in the current season in the Pacific Northwest. A good catering company is Flavours Catering: (509-313-6902). Mona Dershem is the Event Specialist mona.dershem@sodexo.com. Toni Endebrock is the Event Assistant toni.endebrock@sodexo.com. Flavours is managed by Sodexo. They source locally, organically, and have vegetarian menus available. Flavours can provide compostable utensils and labeled waste bins and will donate extra food to Campus Kitchens. Additionally, the Main Market Co-Op is a great resource for buying local food. Roast House Coffee is another awesome local company if you wish to supply coffee at your event.

  • Offer vegan and/or vegetarian options (1 point)

  • When choosing a catering option, be sure they can provide vegan/vegetarian choices. Offering vegan and vegetarian options for your event means you will be creating a lower carbon footprint as well as being inclusive to dietary restrictions. Boots Bakery offers vegan and vegetarian treats. They are located at 24 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201. Serving food buffet style helps to reduce waste by not having individually wrapped portions.

  • Based on RSVP’s, make sure you do not order an excess of food (2 point)

  • Once you have a final headcount for your event, contact your caterer with updated information. This allows for there to not be extra food waste. If there is additional food waste, it can be composted or donated. Refer to the Composting link on the top of the guide to check what food items can and cannot be composted. Additionally, the Sustainability Features Map link shows the locations of outdoor compost stations across campus, if your event is outside. 

  • Donate extra food (1 point)

  • It is important that we acknowledge the food insecurity of the people in Spokane. Donating extra food to charities or food banks is a wonderful way to reduce your event’s waste, as well as care for your neighbor. Here is a list of charities that accept food donations; Second Harvest (509-536-6424), The Salvation Army (509-325-6810), Spokane Valley Partners (Valley Food Bank) (509-927-1153).

  • No single use plastic bottles (1 point)

  • Instead of providing single-use plastic water bottles, provide reusable cups and water pitchers to use. You can invite attendees to bring a reusable water bottle that can be refilled from one of the many refill stations across campus. You could even offer incentives for folks that do! 

  • Use compostable or reusable utensils (1 point)

  • If you work with Flavours catering, they offer compostable materials. You can find fully compostable paper plates, bowls, and utensils for purchase at Huckleberry’s Market as well as the Main Market Co-Op for about $5. All paper products are compostable, including paper towels and napkins. Additionally, you can encourage your attendees to bring their own serving and drink ware. 

Waste: 8 total points available

  • Zero waste event [No trash, compost, or recycling generated by event] (4 points)

  • A zero-waste approach seeks to maximize recycling and reduce waste. Food waste can be reduced by composting. You can recycle flyers. You can ask a food vendor or caterer to reduce unnecessary waste (like coffee stirrers, paper doilies, and straws). Plastic silverware can be recycled once food waste is removed.

  • Compost bin placed prominently in the space of the event (1 point)

  • If you want to serve food at your event, make sure you contact Plant Services (509-313-5656) to provide you with a compost bin.

  • Recycling bin placed prominently in the space of the event (1 point) 

  • You can request recycling bins from Plant Services (509-313-5656).

  • Have signs clearly indicating how waste should be sorted (2 point)

  • The above links for the City of Spokane ecycling and compost are helpful. They offer graphics that can easily be printed off on recycled paper about how to sort recycling and compost. Printed material can be recycled, or ideally saved for another event. 

Transportation: 2 total points available

  • Have an option to virtually attend the event (1 point)

  • If people are not able to attend the event in person, provide access to a zoom event.

  • Encourage carpooling or walking with a buddy (1 point)

  • With events being on campus, walking to and from the event is encouraged. Walking instead of driving has an amazing effect of reducing carbon emissions. You can send out an email or a group text to encourage meeting up and walking with a buddy. You can promote carpooling, biking, and public transit to students who may live off-campus. Every Gonzaga ID functions as a pass on STA (Spokane Transit Authority) buses. There are several routes that run next to campus! Check out the link above.

Coordination and Planning: 8 total points available

  • Have guests RSVP for event (1 point)

  • Have your attendees RSVP for the event through email or text. It is important to use RSVP information in order to avoid waste from food or supplies that may be purchased, as well as printed invitations and responses. Use electronic communication to share who, what, when, where, and why about your event to your guests. 

  • Virtual advertising instead of printed flyers [QR codes, social media, etc.] (1 point)

  • Use Instagram or other social media to promote your event. You can also promote your event through email. Morning Mail is a great tool for Gonzaga events to be promoted.

  • If you are printing flyers, print them on one-side-clean paper or 100% recycled content paper (1 point)

  • Signs and banners should be made from reused or recycled content. If this event is recurring, avoid putting dates on flyers or banners so that they can be used again in the future.

  • Create convenient drop off points for unused handouts (1 point)

  • For unused handouts you can use recycling bins around campus. Check out the Gonzaga Sustainability Feature Map link at the start of this addendum to determine the closest recycling bin near you.

  • Omit dates on items if the event is recurring allowing for reuse of signs, etc. (1 point)

  • Omitting dates on items for recurring events is a great way to reuse signs for your next event.

  • Reuse decorations (1 point)

  • If you can, use the natural décor to your advantage. This means not purchasing unnecessary decorations and allowing the space to be minimally decorated. If using tablecloths, please reuse them. For any purchased decorations, try to buy in colors that will be able to be used for a variety of events. For example, silver, gold, or other neutral colors could fit multiple event themes. You can donate unused supplies to schools or nonprofit organizations. Flowers used for decorations can be composted. Various departments have storage bins located in the auditorium storage in Hemmingson. Check with your organization if you have a storage bin in Hemmingson. This could be a great resource to store decorations.

  • Have only handouts or giveaways that can either be consumed, reused, or made of recycled material (1 point)

  • Examples of handouts or giveaways that could be consumed would be food. Reused handouts are flyers made from recycled materials. 

  • Have handouts or giveaways that could be used at other events (1 point)

  • If your event likes the idea of having giveaways, a great idea for gifts could be metal straws, potted plants, or seeds. These gifts are something that can be used or enjoyed for a long time by your guests, and they also promote sustainability. You can donate unused supplies to schools or nonprofit organizations.